Taking Emily Freeman’s lead to share a handful of things I learned this month, from the (occasionally) significant to the (mostly) shallow.
1. How to make a prettier salad.
I’ve loved Jenny Rosenstrach ever since I read Dinner: A Love Story, and make it a point to read her posts for Cup of Jo. She recently offered up advice on how to make your dishes—especially your salads—look a little more enticing. (And can even change the way it tastes!) I love how her tips are practical and can be put into action immediately.
2. Trader Joe’s has a podcast.
I heard about this back in the spring, when The Kitchn called it “the podcast we didn’t know we needed.” Then I forgot all about it, until I saw it on Donna’s year-end favorite podcasts list. (A good place to find good listens.)
The podcast is by Trader Joe’s, about Trader Joe’s: as someone who loves to hear how things happen behind the scenes, I find it fascinating. (But take note: critical reviews say it feels like a giant ad.) Listeners get to sit in on a tasting panel, and come along on a trip to Napa to evaluate potential wine offerings, and get some sympathy for the tragic parking lot situation. (Every Trader Joe’s I’ve ever been to has had a terrible parking lot. This must be a thing.)
Listener response has blown away expectations: TJ’s originally planned five episodes, but they just published #10.
3. If you need help falling asleep …
Borrow this trick from one of my recent reads: Count backwards from 300 by 3s.
4. Style your hair to go to bed.
This is something I’ve never done in my life, until last month when I mixed up my usual style ever-so-slightly and added long layers. The change is barely perceptible during the day, but when I wake up in the morning my hair is … unruly, if we’re being tactful. It’s like each individual layer chooses to go in its own direction. It’s a mess.
I finally figured out that if I put it in a ponytail at night, it’s fine the next morning. (I know, some of you have been doing this your entire lives, but not me.) I use these ties; they’re tight enough to hold but don’t leave a bump.
5. Book news!
I also have my eyes on the readerly horizon to see what’s coming next, and I was thrilled to discover new books from favorite authors are right around the corner: Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl (April 2), City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Sky from Kate Atkinson (June 25), The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (July 16). I’m happy to add these titles to the list of the books I can’t wait to read in 2019.
More bookishness: it fills my heart with joy to see I’d Rather Be Reading popping up on “book club” shelves at bookstores around the country.
What did you learn in January?